Digest>Archives> May 1999

Students Learn About French Lighthouses


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Mrs. Patricia Penza and her French IV class at ...

Cordouan . . . Kereon . . . La Jument . . . These words mean nothing to most Americans and certainly unfamiliar to nearly all American teenagers. There are, however, eleven young people living in Norton, Massachusetts who are knowledgeable about these famous (did you guess) French lighthouses!

The eleven students, members of Norton High Schools French IV class, recently completed a project which combined the teacher, Mrs. Patricia Penza's love of lighthouses with her goal of helping the students become more adept at Internet research. The project included research, journal writing and oral presentation. Students worked in groups of twos and threes, and each team was assigned a French lighthouse. In addition to the three lighthouses previously mentioned, their study included Creac'h, Pierres Noires and Tevennec lighthouses.

Students were to search for information "online", create a model or drawing of their lighthouse, design a map showing where the lighthouse is located, and plan an imaginary trip to see it! Students used the Internet to locate hotels and restaurants in the area and researched how to get from Paris (where they arrived from Boston) to the coastal areas of France.

To refine their ability to express themselves in written French, each student kept a journal of their imaginary voyage. All wrote beautifully of their sentiments when they finally arrived at "their" lighthouse! To complete the project, each team presented their research orally (in French) to the class. As a special treat, they were shown the video "Guardians of the Night" which Mrs. Penza had purchased from Lighthouse Depot, and which has a considerable amount of information on several French lighthouses. She recalled that she was filled with pride when one of the students called out "look, its Kereon" as the image appeared on the screen!

Thanks to the efforts of a teacher who cares, hopefully this class will be part of the next generation to support lighthouse preservation efforts around the world.

This story appeared in the May 1999 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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